Saturday, September 03, 2005

Red Cross Not Allowed Into New Orleans

Courtesy of Crooked Timber:

Like many people, I made a donation to the Red Cross – then took up Ted’s offer.

I do not regret this decision. And I am sure the money will help people in need.

But I thought some of it might help the people who are trapped and dying in New Orleans. Turns out, the Red Cross is not allowed into New Orleans (tip to Atrios):

As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center yesterday, American Red Cross officials said that federal emergency management authorities would not allow them to do the same.”

There are understandable security concerns, but the main reason seems to be the following: “The goal is to move people out of an uninhabitable city, and relief operations might keep them there.”

I am (once again) speechless – and literally trembling. How is it even conceivable that someone would think that relief operations would keep victims there – and that depriving them of emergency food and water would be the the extra little nudge that would convince them to get out?

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